Gilonne d’Origny was chief development officer at New Harvest, a nonprofit research organization focused on replacing animal products with wheat, milk, and egg substitutes developed in biotech labs. At a panel discussion during the 2016 Fast Company Innovation Festival, d’Origny said there is still a wide gap between the hype of biotechnology’s future and the reality of how much work still needs to be done. "VCs approach us all the time and say ‘we want to invest’ and we say ‘Well, there’s really nothing to invest in, you’ll probably lose your money,'" d'Origny said. "We say 'Well, why not give the money to research and at least then someone will be educated?' Then they're not interested."
D’Origny believes that lab-grown eggs, milk, and gelatin will be readily available in the next decade, but animal-free meat will be a tougher act. For now, New Harvest is working on food products that have fewer environmental impacts than those grown under traditional farming methods in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions.